Friday, September 21, 2007


Brie Stuffed Farro Arancini with Truffle Oil

Admit it my peaches; you, like me, have a cupboard full of random foodstuffs, a fridge crammed with leftover bits of who-knows-what-all and an astonishing assortment of condiments.

All that and a full bar, that, alas, consists more of things like creme de menthe and blackberry schnapps, than the Scotch and hand-crafted Caribbean rum you would prefer. (Okay, maybe that is just me. Me, the girl who is in need of a drink, and yet only has some postively methuselean lemoncello chilling in the freezer. Sigh.)

And while my pantry may (may I say, just may) have a wider and (possibly) more upscale assortment of choices than the average home, (due to compulsive grocery shopping and a slew of friends who work in the culinary arts) I still have to do something with all of it, and you should too! Waste not, want not, and all that, right?

But what do you do with all those bits and bits?

Simple really. Just takes a lightning bolt of adult style imagination, a stout heart, and an affinity towards fried foods, and...voila! Cocktail snacks!

It's just perfect really...because as we all know (okay, those of us who work) after a long hard day earning your tosheroons, we sometimes don't delight in heading towards a hot stove. (Not Hot!) So this is the ideal solution. A lil' nibble, ready in seconds (that is, if you go ahead and freeze them after making them in advance and whatall) made from what is on hand...and this particular mix is pretty over-the-top.

I had some leftover, nutty farro, (an ancient wheat, that seems a bit barley-like to me), woodsy dried morels, some rich brie cheese and a tiny bottle of earthy truffle oil. Together, they made my head swim...and the Ombudsman ate so many, he spoiled his appetite. Silly Ombudsman, spoilt his appetite.

Keeping in mind, this is what I had on hand, you can make variations, and variations, and then a few more variations, as long as the underlying technique stays in tact.

And what is that technique? Well, you just have to follow the recipe and see!

So try this my peaches, then pour yourself a drink, and enjoy!

2 cups cooked and cooled farro
3 eggs
.5 oz dried morel mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water, then minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup flour
Brie or fontina cheese, or both
Bread crumbs
Oil for frying
White truffle oil for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the farro and one of the eggs. Mix. Add in the thyme, mushrooms and a hearty amount of black pepper and salt. Mix to combine. Add a bit of the flour and then gather a small handful of the mixture into your hand. Squeeze and see if it holds together. If it doesn't, add more flour, if it does, stop where you are.

Now this bit takes some lets-all-play-along logic, since I'm not entirely sure I can explain it...

Set out a sheet pan, a bowl of water, a bowl with the remaining two eggs which have been slightly stirred, and a bowl with some of the bread crumbs.

Dip your hand into the water, then gather and form some of the farro in the well of your hand. Add a small pinch of cheese to the center of the farro. Close your hand around it, and seal in the cheese. Dip the now round ball of farro into the eggs, then the bread crumbs to coat. Place on the sheet pan and continue until you are out of farro. At this point you can freeze the farro or shallow fry it and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.


Farro is a grain that is the ancestor of modern wheat, you can substitute arborio rice

Have you seen this post on Acme Instant Food? Hilarious!

Federal health officials are allowing Chinese shrimp producers to resume shipping to the US. The FDA put the restrictions in place after repeated tests showed farmed seafood had been contaminated with drugs the agency has not approved. The FDA made the exemption after inspecting processing plants. It also received third-party analyses of five consecutive shipments of shrimp that showed them to be free of any contamination. - AP

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Great recipe! I'm always looking for things to do with farro -- I haven't quite got the hang of cooking with it yet.
OMG, I wish I lived next door to you so I could have some of this!
Friday...little gorgeous fried morsels...cocktails! Yippeeee!!!! :)
Lydia - I had made it for a salad, and had TONS left over...

Kalyn - I wish you did too!

Kevin - Yippeeee indeed!
Pleeeaase invite me over next time you make them!
I would say I would spoil my appetite on these too, but who are we kidding? I can always make room for more.
wow, I think this recipe is a stroke of brilliance! I just recently had some really disappointing arancini in a restaurant, now you've got me inspired to try making my own. Can I say wow again at the combination of ingredients you used? Love it.
i admit it! i admit it! cupboards and drawers full of gourmet foodstuffs...this is great inspiration to start getting them out and trying new things with them!!!
OMG, Rachael - you are making my mouth water! I've never used farro (silly me!) Now I want to so that I can have some leftover! What a rock-star combo!
Those look amazing! Very creative use for farro. I'll have to try it out.
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